January 29, 2008

792 1980's Topps Cards Can't Be Wrong

It's Tuesday night, which can only mean one thing: time for numbers 401 through 450 of The 792!

For God's sake, try to contain your excitement!

401. Mark McGwire Team USA Olympic, 1985 (RC)
402. Tony Gwynn NL AS, 1988
403. Cory Snyder Team USA Olympic, 1985 (RC)
404. Phillies World Series Celebration, 1981
405. Roger Maris Turn Back the Clock 1961, 1986
406. Paul Molitor, 1980
407. Steve Bedrosian NL AS, 1988
408. John Mizerock, 1987
409. Marvis Foley, 1983
410. Phil Niekro, 1983
At the top of this checklist, I noted that my goal was not to create a Pete Rose's or Nolan Ryan's Greatest Hits type set. It turns out that some stars were consistently given off-numbers, like Paul Molitor, Ozzie Smith, and Robin Yount. Granted, I probably would have included more Roses and Ryans, but they fell on 2nd tier numbers almost across the board (1987 being a rogue checklist; Nolan Ryan on #757? WTF?). A guy who was given a 2nd tier number consistently was Phil Niekro. And how do you say no to Phil Niekro? You don't, that's how.

411. Houston Jimenez, 1984
412. Britt Burns, 1981 (RC)
413. Moose Haas, 1987
414. John McNamara, 1988 (MGR)
415. Ron Darling, 1985 (RC)
416. Fred Lynn, 1989
417. John Franco, 1985 (RC)
418. Alan Knicely, 1986
419. Tom Hume, 1981
420. Will Clark, 1987 (RC)
If I ever write a book on checklisting, there will definitely be a chapter entitled 'The Greatest Crimes in Checklisting,' and near the top of my list will be how Topps did not include Will Clark and Barry Larkin in the 1985 Team USA Olympic subset. His regular-issue rookie in 1987 was a huge deal in 1987. I thought I'd be able to retire from the riches bestowed upon me thanks to having doubles of this card. Alas, it was no to be.

421. Al Oliver Super Veteran, 1983
422. George Cappuzello, 1983
423. John Smiley, 1988 (RC)
424. Yankees Team, 1980
425. Tom Seaver, 1987
426. Orioles Leaders, 1984
427. Paul Kilgus, 1988 (RC)
428. Max Venable, 1986
429. Tim Pyznarski, 1987 (RC)
Pyznarski's only Topps card.

430. Mike Schmidt, 1987
The Mike Schmidt With A Boner Card. Classic.

431. Gary Gaetti, 1983 (RC)
432. Len Barker, 1981
433. Ed Hearn, 1987 (RC)
434. Harold Baines, 1984
435. Robin Yount, 1982
436. Andy Allanson, 1987 (RC)
437. Andy Benes #1 Draft Pick, 1989 (RC)
438. Joe Torre, 1985 (MGR)
439. Dave Righetti, 1982 (RC)
440. Steve Bedrosian, 1988
441. Whitey Herzog, 1986 (MGR)
The Whitey Herzog With The Kid'N'Play Flat-Top Haircut Card.

442. Tom Bolton, 1988 (RC)
Now that the Red Sox have held onto Bucholz, Lester, et al, which one of them will be known as the Tom Bolton of his generation?

443. Bill Buckner, 1986
444. Cal Ripken, Sr., 1988 (MGR)
445. Mark Fidrych, 1980
446. Chuck Finley, 1987 (RC)
447. Tom Brunansky, 1984
448. Darrell Porter In Action, 1982
449. Pat Dodson, 1987 (RC)
450. Barry Bonds, 1988
A few posts ago I hinted that it was unprecedented for Topps to reward Barry Bonds with a 2nd tier number in his rookie year, only to elevate him further in his second year. This is not the case. If you look at 1987 and 1988 more closely, Bo Jackson was on #170 for his regular-issue rookie, then given #750 in 1988, his second year. So really Topps's man-crush wasn't just on Barry Bonds. They spread the love around.

As always, luxuriate in the visuals with Cardboard Junkie.

1 comment:

thewritersjourney said...

Question on the omission of Clark and Larkin from the Olympic subset in 1985...didn't it have to do with their collegiate eligibility? It's my understanding that college athletes are not (or at least were not) allowed to appear on cards while they were still in college. The others were seniors and/or had already signed professional contracts with big league clubs. Am I off on this?